September 4

Giving and justifying opinions for IELTS speaking

Giving and justifying opinions for IELTS speaking

Giving and justifying opinions for IELTS speaking

The IELTS speaking test is like most conversations.  If you give an opinion, you should justify it, and if possible, offer a reason, solution or speculation.

For example:

I don’t think people should automatically be entitled to three holidays a year. [END]

Saying only the statement above is NOT SUITABLE FOR IELTS. You need to expand your argument by supporting your opinions like this:

“I don’t think people should automatically be entitled to three holidays a year, because companies may need their labourAs I see it, two holidays a year is acceptable, with any additional days off acting as an incentive for overtime.”

Whenever you state an opinion, either in the speaking or the writing test, ask yourself why. This will often lead you to thinking of how to justify what you have said.

Test giving and justifying opinions for IELTS speaking!

Extend this candidate’s answer, justifying the opinions and giving examples where you see an asterisk (*)

New Zealand is a great place to study.*1 There is so much to do.*2 There are a lot of international students, especially in the major cities like Auckland and Christchurch, which can sometimes make it difficult to practise your English.* 3 My advice would be to live in a homestay – that’s the best way to improve. *4 Some international students think that New Zealand is boring.*5 Personally, I agree with something my friend told me years ago – only boring people get bored. After all, there’s no point in travelling abroad if everything is the same as in your home country.*6 It can be quite exciting to discover some of the cultural differences between nations anyway.* 7 I don’t really think much of the food though.*8 I much prefer food from my own country. *9 Overall, though, I’ve really enjoyed the experience here.*10

Scroll down to see how the candidate could have extended their responses.


1. New Zealand is a great place to study. As an English-speaking country with some well-known universities, you can get a good education here.

2. There is so much to do – it’s the home of so many extreme sports, such as bungy jumping and skydiving

3. There are a lot of international students, especially in the major cities like Auckland and Christchurch, which can sometimes make it difficult to practise your English. I often find myself spending the evenings talking to friends in my language!

4. My advice would be to live in a homestay – that’s the best way to improve. That way everything has to be in English, and you find yourself learning so much more because it’s almost 24 hours a day.

5. Some international students think that New Zealand is boring. I think that’s probably because they are so used to cities where entertainment is laid on every night, they don’t really need to think about entertaining themselves.

6. Personally, I agree with something my friend told me years ago – only boring people get bored. After all, there’s no point in travelling abroad if everything is the same as in your home country. The main purpose of an international education is to learn something about the world, to see how about people live.

7. It can be quite exciting to discover some of the cultural differences between nations anyway. For example, I’ve never heard of people cooking food under the earth before like they do with a hangi.

8. I don’t really think much of the food though – it’s a little too greasy for me.

9. I much prefer food from my own country, but I guess that’s mostly because it’s what I’ve grown up with, so I’ve become accustomed to it.

10. Overall, though, I’ve really enjoyed the experience here. Of course, I’ve learned better English from being here, but I also feel I’ve become more mature and have a more open-minded view of the world.

See how you get on!

Respond to the following statements and expand your answer as much as possible.

NOTE: There are no model answers for these exercises.

  1. There is no need to settle into a career until the age of 30.
  2. Visa regulations should be relaxed for foreign students.
  3. People who cause traffic accidents should not be allowed to drive again.
  4. Single-sex classes make learning easier.
  5. Nobody should eat meat.

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